Florida State senator and chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, Sen. Joe Gruters (R-23) has been cleared of sexual harassment allegations after reports circulated earlier this week.
Florida Politics initially reported the allegations, and POLITICO stated the allegations came from four Republican Party officials and one other source who claimed Gruters sexually harassed a male aide in January who drove Gruters home from a bar in Tallahassee during Spring’s legislative session. A complaint was immediately filed with the state.
The claim was investigated for three months, then an independent law firm took over the investigation and found no evidence for the allegations, closing the investigation in March.
The law firm was “unable to substantiate the allegations and no accuser with firsthand knowledge was willing to come forward with a complaint of allegations of harassment or other misconduct.”
“When the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) was informed of allegations made against Chairman Joe Gruters, the Executive Director and General Counsel immediately recused themselves from any investigation and hired a third-party independent law firm to conduct the investigation. The RPOF was not involved in the investigation, did not direct the law firm, or limit the law firm in any way whatsoever in its investigation.
Following a thorough investigation lasting more than three months, the independent third-party law firm reported back and informed elected RPOF officials including the Vice Chairman and National Committeeman and National Committeewoman that they were unable to substantiate the allegations and no accuser with firsthand knowledge was willing to come forward with a complaint of allegations of harassment or other misconduct.”
Some have said the allegations against Gruters were politically motivated, trying to affect his career in Florida’s political landscape and as an ally to former President Donald J. Trump.
– – –
Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Joe Gruters” by Joe Gruters. Photo “Florida Senate Capitol” by Michael Rivera CC 3.0.